Cape Town’s built environment is characterised by low densities, long distances between residential areas and workplaces, and historical disparities with the majority of low-income residents living far from work opportunities and spending a significant percentage of their income on transport.
The current state of mobility is unsustainable with the barriers of cost and inefficiency entrenching economic exclusion.
The national government’s Integrated Urban Development Framework and the City’s Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Framework (TODSF) pinpoint the public transport network as one of the key strategic levers to overcome apartheid spatial planning and the associated inequalities that this fragmented urban form perpetuates.
As such, the City of Cape Town’s Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Framework – adopted by Council earlier this year – is the new order of business. It prescribes how new developments across Cape Town should happen and how existing public infrastructure will be transformed to deal with apartheid spatial inequality, the high cost of public transport, and urbanisation while also stimulating economic growth.
It is a bold commitment to correcting our spatial reality over the next few decades. It prioritises more efficient land use with increased densities and mixed uses.
It prioritises the right development in the right locations to reduce travel times and costs. It also prioritises public transport and non-motorised transport.
To this end, the City’s key commitments are that all land use planning decisions and public investment will be directed in terms of comprehensive transit-oriented development. This means that:
  • New developments in the city will be strategically located around public transport;
  • New developments will have an appropriate mix of land uses;
  • New developments will be inclusive and situated in well-located areas close to work opportunities and social amenities;
  • Public spaces will promote the use of public transport and non-motorised transport modes;
  • The City will leverage its strategically located land holdings, existing public transport infrastructure and new public transport infrastructure to achieve transit-oriented development; and
  • The City will partner with the private sector and lead by example to achieve transit-oriented development.
The City has already identified five projects in Bellville, Philippi East, Athlone, Paardevlei, and the Cape Town central business district (CBD) where we will either invest in the improvement of existing public transport infrastructure or provide new public transport infrastructure to ignite urban renewal, economic growth, and job creation in these areas. Investment will take place over the next five years by means of TOD principles.
Transport, housing and jobs are primary drivers to transform our city. Going forward the City will aggressively pursue TOD, prioritising public expenditure in line with the TODSF.